St Cecilia's Swinging Sixties

Back at the beginning of the Autumn Term, Farleigh’s music staff were given ‘The Swinging ‘60s’ as the theme for the St Cecilia Concert 2017. As ever, they took up the challenge with enthusiasm, to present a fantastic selection of music spanning the era to an exceptionally high standard and to a jam-packed auditorium last Thursday at the annual event, now complete with professional staging, sound and lighting.

From the very opening lines of Yellow Submarine sung by the Junior Choir, headed by chief submariner Rupert Bassett, to the grand finale High Ho Silver Lining sung by Senior Choir and backed by The Thundering Herd and Rock Academy (ending in cries for ‘more…!’), the audience was transported on a toe tapping journey through a decade which saw the birth of many new genres of music that we all know and love today.

Beatles’ songs were well represented, with Yellow Submarine not only sung by Junior Choir but also played by Brass Works, as well as lovely arrangements of Penny Lane and Hey Jude which were performed by Farleigh’s newly formed Wind Band and Flute Group respectively. The 5-strong Guitar Ensemble reminded us all of the liberal approach of the ‘60s with a melodic interpretation of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and not to be outdone, Sax Pack joined the celebration of the Fab Four With a Little Help from My Friends. The laid-back Californian Surf Scene was reminiscent in the sound of Surfin’ USA played by the Clarinet Ensemble and Californian Dreamin’ sung by the Senior Choir.

String Sensation, the largest instrumental ensemble comprising 28 members, wowed us with a superbly polished instrumental performance of Barbara-Ann, before joining forces with the Girls’ Close Harmony Group who sang an entertainingly choreographed version of The Locomotion.

Experienced soloists as well as debut solo singers made a real impact during the evening; Daisy Dunning earned her huge round of applause with a superb rendition of ‘Hard Day’s Night’ backed so expertly by The Thundering Herd, Samuel Acker sang soulfully in Big Bird along with his trusty backing group in Rock Academy, and Alex Landale gave The Rolling Stones a run for their money singing Jumpin’ Jack Flash with the Senior Choir.

The above is just a selection of the variety of performances on the night, and special thanks are due to Marcus Reeves and his dedicated team of music teachers who worked so hard throughout the term to bring us such a fabulous line-up of entertainment by so many performers, an astonishing 245 children took part in this year’s St Cecilia Concert making it the biggest yet…

Mrs Henderson

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St Cecilia's Swinging Sixties